Both sides started the match on seven points, but Shanghai proved themselves a class above with another dominant performance at home, this time against Tianjin Huisen. A first half hour blitz was enough to take control of the match and cruise through the rest of the match in humid conditions without much genuine threat from the visitors.
CHINESE WOMEN’S SUPER LEAGUE
Liu Jieru 6′
Yan Jinjin 17′
Xiao Yuyi 30”
Tianjin Huisen 0
The hosts started in the same manner to their previous home match four days earlier in which they dominated a visiting Shandong side who were unable to keep the ball against the pressure of the ladies in blue. It wasn’t long before the scoreline would reflect their intent as captain Liu Jieru rose highest from a great corner to head into the roof of the net. The lead was doubled by Yan Jinin who was dangerous on the right, cutting in along the top of the box before firing home after 17 minutes.
There were ominous signs for Tianjin, thier few attacks went through Han Peng often in space along the left, but her crosses never made it past the ever reliable Li Jiayue at centre back. It was very nearly more after 21 minutes when Tang Jiali ran on to a long ball but a great Zhu Yu save meant the ball dribbled just wide and out for a corner. Xiao Yuyi didn’t need to wait too long to get her reward, as her great shot from the edge of the box could only be parried by Zhu Yu before nestling in the top corner.
The contest seemed over a third of the way in and Shanghai seemed to need reminding the match was still going as Tianjin had their only dominant period in the following ten minutes. Zhao Lina was tested from close range and twice pushed seemingly certain goals inches wide in the only tests that would come her way during the entire match. After several corners from Tianjin came to no avail, Xiao Yuyi broke away and ran the length of the field only for Mui Siwen to miss after a great layoff put her through in the box.
That motion was the end of any meaningful Tianjin possession and Shanghai’s attack continued in the second half. However the story of the half would be that Shanghai would lack the classy final touch to these forays, which they had in abundance in the first thirty minutes. Liu Jun was brought on to inject something to the match, replacing Yan Jinjin and she immediately gave the Shanghai side more fire. Liu Jun’s first of many tricky, quick touches turned her marker, Song Jiangjie who had no option but to bring her down on halfway and take the yellow card.
In the last ten minutes Liu Jun was heavily involved with every Shanghai attack, creating the first of several great chances after interplay with Miu Siwen opened up the Tianjin defence. The pair broke into a two on one and Liu Jun found herself unmarked on the penalty sport but ended up missing the best chance of the match, embarrassingly by several metres.
Tianjin did have one more chance and it was the best chance they would have as Wang Shanshan met a great cross from the byline only to see her header fly wide.
This was a mere blip in the flow of Shanghai attacks and they would have one final chance to extend the lead before the end. Again after outnumbering the stretched Tianjin defence, Liu Jun misjudged her short pass that should have seen Xiao Yuyi free into the box one on one. The ball bobbled to Miu Siwen who advanced to the 6 yard box only to be thwarted by a perfect all or nothing slide tackle by Deng Si to maintain the 3 goal deficit at full time.
Shanghai sit in 4th and need to maintain this form to stay in touch with leaders Dalian and Jiangsu. Next up they face Beijing away who are coming off a 5-0 hammering at home to the league Leaders. It gets no easier for Tianjin who will host Changchun, fresh from a 4-0 defeat of lowly Shandong.
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